Apply pre-emergent herbicide early this year

With this month’s, warmer-than-normal weather, I think we are going to be employing many GardenLine protocols earlier than normal this year … like maybe a whole month earlier.

Please stay current on these adjustments by listening to the radio show, watching these posts, and following us on Facebook. All the possible early moves are tentative because I’m watching 15-day weather forecasts, and that’s about as far out as I can see for our planning.

But your first green light is to put out the first pre-emergent herbicide application now!

If you make this first change - and let’s call it two weeks earlier than normal - please understand that it’s not mandatory. You can stay on the regular Lawn Care Schedule, but I think we have an opportunity to get it down immediately. And by doing it a few weeks early, we’ll have an unusual opportunity to get in three pre-emergent herbicide applications before June 1. I don’t see any freezing weather on the horizon for the next two weeks, and I see predictions for daytime temperatures in the 70s and low 80s. Weed seeds will germinate in that kind of environment.

So, a January application will allow us to do another one in 60-75 days, or by the end of March. And that means we can get in one more by June. In a normal calendar year, we only ask for three applications total, and one of them is in the fall. Most pre-emergent herbicides warn against over-use, but I’m not suggesting that you do this every year … just in unique circumstances such as this year’s non-winter.

The two most prominent pre-emergent herbicides are Barricade® and Dimension®. Barricade has been on the retail scene at least five times longer than Dimension, but both are the 2-in-1 pre-emergent products my schedule recommends.

Frankly, you may have already missed an opportunity to get this down two weeks ago, but I just couldn’t bring myself to make that suggestion, not knowing how the weather was going to play out for the coming weeks. Plus, I don’t think anyone would have paid any attention, since we were so close to the new year.

Who thinks, as I do, that we’ve had a major weed infestation earlier this January than in the past? Had we applied the pre-emergent two weeks ago, we might have headed off many of them. But let’s get protected now for what might be a prolific year for weeds in our lawns and landscapes. If you want, stay true to the regular February application. But trust me on this: get your pre-emergent down early this year.

Although I’m not yet ready to green-light some other early projects, the “early green-up” fertilization may be even earlier this year. Fruit tree pruning could be a month early. The crape Myrtle massacre might be earlier than normal. WAIT! WHAT? Okay, I was just seeing if you’re paying attention. Normally we should LIGHTLY prune crapes around Valentine’s Day, but I have a suspicion I’ll be giving you the go-ahead by Feb. 1.

Of course, if you have any questions on any of these issues, please give me a call this weekend on the radio show.

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